TEJ5780EN - Jesus & the Poor: Biblical Perspectives on Economic Justice

Course description

What can we learn from Jesus regarding how we are to treat the poor? This course explores the life of Jesus and his perspective towards the poor. It also seeks to derive biblical principles of belief and conduct regarding economic justice. We invite students to be captivated with God’s vision for a more just world and their desires reshaped by Jesus’ life and perspectives of the poor. This is a formative course in missional economic justice practice i.e. we confront our own and our society’s beliefs, practices and attitudes towards the poor. Using various texts in the gospels we seek to adopt a biblically faithful understanding on economic justice for our various contexts.

How this course benefits students

There are five (5) key benefits for students doing this course: 1) they will obtain a biblical understanding of loving one’s neighbour based on Jesus perspective; 2) they will be able to intentionally reflect on how faith in Jesus affects attitude towards the poor and perspectives towards economic justice; 3) they will be encouraged how to purse and live out the gift of God’s kingdom economic justice as demonstrated in the life of Jesus; 4) they will engage the mission of Jesus in relation to economic justice and how we are to respond to the plight of the poor; 5) and the course allows students to interact and apply what they learn about Jesus and the poor to their contexts.

Why this course is important

Many models of economic justice are based on theories of some economists, philosophers, or political scientists. These theories are helpful, but they often exclude Christian perspectives from the conversation. This course explores the life and mission of Jesus and how the gospels can inform us to dialogue and participate the social, political, and economic contexts of our societies. It offers an alternative missional and biblical perspective based on how Jesus understood economic justice and treated the poor.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Theology of Equitable Justice
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Basilius Kasera, Professor of Economic Theology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

We derive our understanding of equitable and economic justice from the framework of God’s self-revelation in Jesus and the gospels. That is, we take the Bible’s authority seriously to inform our belief, reasoning and conduct in all aspects of life and to be part of God’s redeeming work in the world.

Missionally driven

The course encourages students to become part of the transformation (of hearts, societies, systems and structures) that God started in Jesus and is doing in their various communities and the world.

Contextually informed

In this course, we hold that the ultimate context of humanity is that which the Bible tells us--all have sinned. We are fully aware of the shortcoming of humans, yet we believe that God, in His grace, through Jesus Christ, is at work to create a new humanity. We participate as witnesses of what a society transformed by the gospel should be from Jesus example and attitude towards the poor.

Interculturally focused

We believe that God works with people within their cultural context. This course seeks to challenge students to express their faith in Jesus in their social context, sensitively and graciously but faithfully.

Practically minded

Although we are engaged in an academic exercise, we do not advocate for mere head knowledge. We believe that all learning must be for practical use; this is part of the task of being Jesus’ disciples.

Experientially transformed

Students need strong theoretical foundations, they need experiences where they can develop the ability to grabble with real issues if they are to craft authentic, meaningful solutions facing their communities.